- BMW is testing a blockchain platform for tracking car mileage.
- Alex said that drivers that participate in the system will be given tokens in exchange for their data.
BMW, the global automobile giant, is trying out a blockchain platform for tracking mileage in rented cars through its startup innovation program, which was unveiled in February.
One of the five firms to work with BMW Group UK as part of its Innovation Lab was DOVU, who developed a system with Alphabet – BMW’s fleet manager – to motivate drivers to log mileage in rented or leased cars. Alex Morris, head of product for DOVU, said that the idea behind the system is to help BMW understand how much activity its cars carried out and its impact on the cars. Alex said that as drivers participate in the system, they are given tokens in exchange for their data. He added:
“What we’re doing is we’re essentially trying to build out this circular economy on the DOVU platform. [Drivers] can earn tokens, but down the line, they’ll also be able to spend tokens on services – for example, they might be able to get replacement tires or something like that using the DOVU ecosystem. The partner, in this case, BMW, defined the categorization of the reward and that’s defined in a smart contract. As long as the parameters are met for the smart contract, they’ll receive tokens.”
According to Alex, BMW embraced this mileage tracking through token rewards stating that the present automatic mileage tracking systems are unreliable, and do not provide the information that the company might actually use. Hence, the test-running program necessitates drivers of rented or leased cars to log their mileage weekly, which gets stored on DOVU’s blockchain. He said:
“Right now mileage is the most important factor for the resale value of their vehicles. The problem is quite an important one for them to solve, so when we suggested tokens to incentivize them to do that they were very excited.”
DOVU’s community manager, Max Lomuscio, explained that the first stage of the partnership, which was the proof-of-concept, has already been completed. Presently, DOVU is moving onto the next stage, which is the actual test driving and this would take about 6 to 8 weeks.
According to Alex:
“the plan is to become this kind of ubiquitous rewards system that can work across vehicles, make some kind of unified wallet for token rewards that you can use on your BMW, but maybe jump into your second car and earn more tokens and then spend those throughout the ecosystem.”
Aside from this, the firm also wants to expand into smart city environments and has already begun discussions with a few cities to find out how the token earning and spending use cases can be integrated into public transport and other aspects of the municipal area.